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Everything posted by Scrooge

  1. # 395 - Zane Grey's Forlorn River. Behind another Sam Savitt cover, we find a full-length adaptation of Forlorn River illustrated per GCD by Bob Jenney with Al McWilliams (who according to Dave Saunders was Bob's best man in 1940). I am most familiar with Jenney's work from his long standing Cisco Kid assignment. Never flashy, Jenney had a full 30-year comics career, starting at DC and Centaur in 1939 and working in the industry at least until 1969 and illustrating elsewhere after that. The story carries this issue, not the art. Jenney has a soft style, nothing is crisp: not the art, nor the story-telling. So, if the story is not interesting, the reading experience suffers. How's the story? Okay. Ben Ide is framed into being believed a cattle rustler and only his paramour and his two friends: Nevada and Modoc, believe him innocent. Meaning, his own father believes him crooked with no evidence! That's a stretch in the story (maybe it is better supported in the book and the adaptation dropped the ball). Of course, since both Modoc and Nevada have nebulous criminal histories only hinted at, it's not hard to believe that Ben suffers from it. Nevertheless, while busy earning a living capturing wild horses, Ben is being accused of rustling. He decides to bust one of the real rustling crew and make them admit that they are working for his accuser, thereby restoring his reputation. After finally successfully capturing them, he gets sidetracked by his white whale, California Red, a prized wild stallion. He releases the rustling gang he tracked for most of the issue to trap the horse!! Thankfully, they get recaptured and still welch on the true criminal mastermind. Fisticuffs ensue and just when it looks like Ben will have to kill Ben Lesser, Nevada does the shooting. Then pronto he rides off afraid that this will have his criminal past catch up to him. Ben stays and enjoys his victory: Lesser dead, California Red captured, Ina in his arms, reconciled with his dad, an all around happy ending … except for Nevada. We will know the fate of Nevada as the Four Color series adapts the sequel to Forlorn River, Nevada, as Four Color # 412 (published in August when this one is published in May). Cover - That's California Red being captured by Ben. Intro - Nevad and Ben ambushing the rustlers' gang - Running them down to the law -
  2. # 394 - Donald Duck in Malayalaya, a non-Barks issue except for the cover - After a 10-pager in WDCS 113 in 1950 (2 years earlier), this is Bradbury's second work with DD, US and the nephews (he did assorted MM, Goofy, Grandma Duck, Gus … prior as well) before working in the DD series later on. So, early in his stint on these ducks, I was impressed how well on model his work is. Bradbury is excellent and experienced anyway but seeing how well he works with the characters was impressive. The long story from the cover is scripted by Del Connell. It does some things well and others not. I liked the first half of the story where Scrooge is defeated by his bravado (that a man his age can find a job, any job within 2 hours … he does not) forcing him to give DD a job. After a manager quits in the rubber plantation, in goes DD to face adversity, a stroke of bad luck turns into success … until the final page. The plantation part of the story is the weakest, probably because it is a little rushed. The second shorter story is fine, well structured but DD ends up with the upper hand and not the nephews. I rooted for the little guys. Good characterization and delineation of Scrooge - The usual ending where DD can grab the defeat in the jaws of victory - The nephews from the shorter story wherein they aim to trick DD into buying a TV set (24-inch at that) -
  3. # 393 - Bugs Bunny. This is a nice issue, well rounded with 3 enjoyable stories. 1 with Porky and 2 with Elmer. The first story ends up taking place mostly in a gum factory after crooks use gumballs to help them escape after robberies. Perfect set up for great factory backgrounds and gum gags, including these two, playing with the comic form nicely - Here's the second story's 1/3rd splash. Elmer plants a variety of carrots that makes whomever eats end agreeable. Of course, eventually Bugs figures it out, fakes it and finally Elmer eats some in the typical ending reversal. Loved the pool gag set-up with the tunnel and also coloring worked really great for the dyeing gag, well executed. In the final story, Bugs diverts Elmer's oil rig … to devastating effects. No one is a winner in that story with neither profiting from the oil.
  4. # 392 - Silver, second issue. Maybe it is because it is only the second issue of a longish run but the stories are fresh, not repetitive and definitely gorgeously illustrated. Of course, once we are past the first intro page, we get into captioned action. This allows the art to shine through clear and clean. This is the quintessential type of issue that makes collecting the Four Color run one of the most fun found in comics. I love Hi-Yo Silver, probably the best series in the sub-set of animal driven comics. Sam Savitt cover. Corresponds to one of the interior stories - I am a sucker for purple prose: "Here the grass was scanty, and the spice of sagebrush tingled in their nostrils." Resting away from a grass fire - Despite not being geared to great composition given the style used, this page holds together very well - Best panel: second tier, right panel. And who does not like baby Silver discovering ice for the first time -
  5. On to # 391 - Uncle Wiggily. Much more enjoyable than the Woody. The first story was engaging, the art welcoming and the characters pleasant. Sure, Eenie Q. Wolverine cornered the market for fresh eggs ahead of Easter but Wiggily and the other woodland creatures managed to trick him and save Easter for everyone. The character help each other, are not mean (they go deliver one basket to Wolverine at the end of the story even), and are of general good nature. Still, it's a case of two worlds. The second story was more pedestrian. GCD attributes both stories to the same artist, Bill Weaver. I do not believe that the same artist did both stories. The first story artist's style is distinctive enough that we cannot mistake the second story's art for his. Don't know what happened in the index. Maybe I am wrong. Gathering the troops - for decorating in a well orchestrated 2/3rd splash -
  6. Maybe. If they exist, I have not sampled them. Honestly, when I see a Woody comics, I tend to skip it over so I might have overlooked one like that. I am also OK with low grade copies.
  7. Read 390 today. I am still looking for a Woody Woodpecker comics that I enjoy I am easily satisfied in general but those Woody comics just leave me cold. The panel below with the buzzard is the highlight of the entire comic book … Random mentions of Pomona and Sheboygan in the text had a Jack Benny flavor but that's still slight. The story where Woody install his TV antenna and somehow captures the station's signal from 6 hours later in the day had potential but that's the only thing it had sadly. The buzzard -
  8. Read 389 today. Andy Hardy is right in my wheelhouse. I love that kind of comedy (in comics or OTR) so I really enjoyed reading the issue. Love the pissed-off look on the swan on the back cover Even if the story follows this typical pattern: It starts with some wolfing - and ends with some ouching - but it's still pleasant from start to finish!
  9. Read FC 388 this week. Ran into the posted panels sequence and liked it a lot. I have been re-reading Usagi Yojimbo from the start this year and it reminded me of Sakai's story-telling. That story was quite fun.
  10. I did a quick count of my progress so far. I have been journaling my reading since 2017 when I first did the challenge seriously so looking at my journal entries, so far this year, I have read: 358 single US issues 14 European albums (which count as 2 single US issues) = 28 89 manga volumes … which is where things get iffy. I typically count each as 7 comics (page count wise, though they read faster) but at 7 each that's 623 54 other counts from other reads: OGN, Comic Strip Collections, Reprint books, etc so, with the generous manga count, that's 1,063 as of today or counting the manga volumes as just one each, that's 529. Favorite in each category so far: Single issues: I am re-reading my issues of Scalped and there's a lot to love in that series as well as going back through my Usagi Yojimbo trades which are delightful. European albums: the omnibus of Once upon a time in France published in the US by Dead Reckoning. Looking at the event of the French occupation from the perspective of a collaborator, full of moral ambiguity, no one comes out smelling like roses. Manga: Magus of the Library hits right in my comfort zone: beautifully illustrated, simply heart-warming and related to books! Enjoyable but I will also shout out to Ooku, a denser read but very satisfying. OGN and Misc. collections: Mort Cinder by Breccia and Oesterheld. Didn't know what to expect going in, staying through with it. Graphically interesting, less satisfying from the story perspective but worthwhile having read.
  11. Read that a couple of years ago and felt underwhelmed. I agree that there is a lot of interesting tidbits but the overall research lacked depths and not much of an arc to the story overall in the final products. Felt like a trivia book more than a biography.
  12. Agreed. So much so I ended up not voting in protest. They should not even be here at this stage
  13. G.I. Joes - From Vol. 2 -
  14. G.I. Joes - From Vol. 1 -